By Omeiza Ajayi
Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Malam Muhammad Bello, has lamented the growing menace of cultism even in primary schools, charging members of the Federation of Muslim Women Associations in Nigeria, FOMWAN, to restore family values in the society by working hard to eliminate cultism and drug abuse, especially among children and women.
Chief Press Secretary to the minister, Anthony Ogunleye, in a statement on Thursday in Abuja, said Malam Bello gave the charge during a courtesy visit by a delegation of the FCT branch of the association led by its Amirah Hajia Usman.
According to him, “one of the main areas of concern to us is the issue of drug abuse and cultism in our schools. We used to know of cults in the 70s at the university level. Now you have cults in primary schools and we wonder how do they even get to go there?”
He called on FOMWAN to use its vantage position and the fact that it has been in existence for 35 years to focus on matters concerning children as well as women, especially as it relates to drug abuse and cultism.
Also speaking, Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Aliyu, commended FOMWAN for its activities over the years, urging them to re-inculcate the family value system which, she said, is being eroded in society.
She said there was an obvious challenge of proper parenting as parents have lost control of their children.
Her words: “We all know that parenting does not stop until we are dead. We had our mothers speaking to us even as we are aging and they remain the voices of caution that will say stop if we are going wrong.
“But now to our children, nobody can say stop anymore. They exchange words, they retaliate. This is not the culture under which we were brought up.”
Aliyu also decried the rising cost of marriage in Northern Nigeria which she said has the potentials of leaving many young girls without husbands, a situation she described as “scary”.
She, therefore, called for community action by FOMWAN to tackle societal challenges.
Earlier, the Amirah of FCT FOMWAN Haji Bola Usman disclosed that the 35th anniversary of FOMWAN is scheduled to hold in August in Abuja and called for the support of the FCT Administration for the success of the event.